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Reflexology


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Reflexology

In This Article
History Of Reflexology How Does It Work?
A Typical Appointment What To Expect
Timings/ Costs/ Sessions Is It Right For You?
 

Before you look to find a reflexologist in your area why not take some time to learn more about reflexology, it's history and origins.

Evidence to the origins of reflexology was found in hieroglyphics of ancient Egyptian civilisations. The therapy is also said to have been practised in ancient China, Japan and India and the early Greek health spas of 200AD used reflexology style therapy for relaxation and to promote good health. Russian physician Ivan Pavlov pioneered research into involuntary reflex actions of the body and their contribution to stress and pain.

Modern reflexology developed from 'zone therapy' which was first used in the 16th century but the term 'reflexology' was first used by Russian neurologist Vladimir Bekterev in 1917. American physician William Fitzgerald described his 'zone analgesia' methods in medical journals of the same year whereby an anaesthetic effect can occur in certain parts of the body when pressure is applied to other areas.

Fitzgerald's work was further developed in the 1930s by physiotherapist Eunice Ingham who noted the hands and feet were highly sensitive to the cause of zone analgesia in other areas and so began mapping the body in relation to these. Since the 1970s, reflexology has grown in popularity and is now widely available in the UK.   

 


Ancient Chinese philosophy states that energy flow around the body can become blocked and cause illness. One of the theories of reflexology is that the therapy can unblock any trapped energy and allow the body to heal itself. However, other theories on reflexology explain its effects further.

Stress can cause physical problems in the body that leads to injury or disease and reflexology can trigger a relaxation response that reduces this stress and therefore benefits health. Reflexology can also release endorphins (our natural pain killing chemical) into the bloodstream to aid pain relief and give a feeling of well-being. Pressure to the hands and feet during the therapy can increase blood flow and with better circulation oxygen and nutrients present in cells move around the body aiding recovery. This process also removes waste products that may be causing damage.

There are thousands of nerve endings in the hands and feet and by applying pressure to a specific area, other parts of the body can be affected (for instance, pressure to the fingertips affect the head and sinuses). A reflexologist stimulates those areas that relate to the part of the body that is cause for concern, helping to aid the natural healing process.

 


Be prepared!

If you are looking to find a reflexologist it is important to know there are a number of professional organisations who ensure its members have a high standard of training and development. By visting these organisation's websites you are able to check a practitioner's qualifications and membership. The main Reflexology organisations are listed at the foot of this article.

The Association of Reflexologists (AoR) is a non-profit organisation whose members must have professional qualifications and abide by a code of ethics and practice. Their members will use M.A.R after their name (Member of the Association of Reflexologists). The British Reflexology Association (BRA) acts on behalf of those practising reflexology and whose members have M.B.R.A after their name. Both of these organisations are members of the Reflexology in Europe Network whose aim is to seek official recognition of the profession.

You should consult with your GP about using reflexology or seeing a reflexologist and some Primary Care Trusts offer funding, however this is rare and waiting times are to be expected so the majority of people see a private practitioner.

Before the important with your reflexologist, spend time thinking about your condition and what you expect to achieve with reflexology. Make some notes before you attend about your expectations and concerns. If you have a few conditions, put them in order so the reflexologist can address the most severe first. Your reflexologist will also appreciate it if you wash your feet before attending.


The reflexologist will begin by discussing your health, medical history, diet and lifestyle. You will lie down or sit in a reclining chair and be asked to remove your shoes and socks. The reflexologist will examine your feet for colour, appearance and condition and discuss your treatment plan. If you have any questions or concerns let your reflexologist know and they will do their best to answer them. Before beginning treatment, the reflexologist may give you a foot bath to help you relax and many reflexologists use powders or oils on your feet to help with the techniques they employ.  

The reflexologist will begin by applying pressure to particular areas of your feet, hands and sometimes ears. The techniques are similar to massaging and the effects you feel will vary. The sensations can at times feel like a sharp pain and be slightly uncomfortable but this doesn't last long and you will generally find the therapy relaxing and calming. The reflexologist will apply this pressure to suit the individual but it will not tickle.

Once the reflexologist has finished, they will discuss the treatment with you and the need for any follow-up appointments. After your session, you may feel tired or slightly nauseous and need to go to the toilet more often. These effects are a result of the body beginning to remove toxins and shouldn't last beyond a day or two.     

 


Your first session should last about 60 minutes as the reflexologist takes your medical history, examines your feet and discusses the treatment. Subsequent sessions will last around 30 minutes but can depend on the techniques the reflexologist will use. They will discuss this at your first appointment.

Costs vary depending on your location and it's advisable to contact your local practitioner to discuss this before making an appointment. As a general guide, your first appointment could cost from £30 - £50 and follow-up sessions £20 - £40. Some reflexologist offer a home service and you should expect to pay more for this.

Many people have reflexology on a regular basis or just as an occasional treatment. The number of sessions you require will depend on your condition and progress but the reflexologist will discuss this with you at your first appointment and then during any further sessions. On average, many people have six sessions of reflexology.

 


Reflexology has benefited many people suffering with a number of conditions and is a safe therapy for children and adults. Sports men and women, cancer patients and pregnant women are among those who use the therapy on a regular basis.

A reflexologist will not be able to treat people with skin disorders of the hands or feet as applying pressure to blisters or infected areas can worsen the condition. If you suffer with Deep Vein Thrombosis or are in the first three months of your pregnancy you may not be treated. Diabetics and those with circulatory problems should consult a GP before having reflexology.




This therapy or modality may help with:

Addiction Alcoholism Allergies
Anorexia nervosa Anxiety Arthritis
Asthma Back Pain Blood pressure
Breathing disorders Bulimia Cancers
Childbirth Chronic Fatigue Chronic Pain
Circulation Problems Depression Dermatitis
Digestive Problems Disc Problems Drug addiction
Eczema Frozen Shoulder Heel Pain
Hormone Imbalance Infertility Insomnia
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Joint Pain Lumbago
Migraines Muscle Cramps Muscle stiffness
Neck pain Neck stiffness Obesity
Panic Attacks Period pain Phobias
PMS PMT Pregnancy Sciatica
Sinusitis Sports injuries Sprain (Ankle, Knee)
Stress

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Featured Reflexology Practitioners

Sample Of Practitioners By Location
Reflexology Birmingham Reflexology Brighton Reflexology Bristol
Reflexology Cardiff Reflexology Coventry Reflexology East London
Reflexology Edinburgh Reflexology Glasgow Reflexology Harley Street
Reflexology Leeds Reflexology Liverpool Reflexology London
Reflexology Manchester Reflexology North London Reflexology Nottingham
Reflexology Sheffield Reflexology South London Reflexology West London

About Therapist Qualifications

Association of Reflexologists (AoR) Association of Reflexologists (AoR) More Info British Reflexology Association (BRA) British Reflexology Association (BRA) More Info
International Federation of Reflexologists (IFR) International Federation of Reflexologists (IFR) More Info Association of Physical & Natural Therapies (APNT) Association of Physical & Natural Therapies (APNT) More Info

 

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from your GP before considering a complementrary therapy, alternative medicine or alternative treatment.